Hu Wanlin, a 65-year-old unqualified, uneducated “doctor” from Sichuan province, was sentenced to 15 years in prison and a 200,000 RMB fine after the death of his patient, 22-year-old college student Yun Xuyang.
Hu set up a “health clinic” in Xin’an county in Henan, claiming to be an “omnipotent doctor,” according to SCMP. He believes that all diseases come from water, and that curing them requires complete dehydration. The autopsy presented at trial indicated that Yun died of dehydration after ingesting glauber’s salt, a colorless hydrated sodium sulfate that, in small doses, is sometimes used as a mild laxative. During the presentation, Hu disagreed with the autopsy results, claiming he frequently consumed 1.5 kilograms of the stuff to treat himself.
This will be Hu’s third time in prison for faking medical qualifications. His first infraction was in the 1990s, after 13 of his patients died. Once freed, he continued his illegal medical clinic and was jailed again in 2000 after the death of three more patients, one of whom was the mayor of Luohe in Henan. Although he was sentenced for fifteen years, he was released early and wasted no time reopening shop. In fact, Hu started his first clinic while he was in prison for the homicide of a businessman and other charges (among which: kidnapping and trafficking women), unrelated to his later medical malpractice. According to Chinese media reports, Hu was also sentenced to 15 years in prison for “anti-revolution” activities in 1974.
Hu was charged with illegally practicing medicine, as was his protege Lü Wei, who promoted Hu’s ideas online purporting that their medical practices could cure diabetes and AIDs. It is currently unknown why Hu and Lü have not been charged with murder, since causing multiple deaths over a period of 25 years (his treatments are believed to have killed 140 plus people) makes Hu more serial killer than quack doctor.
By Briel Waxman